Dalton company evacuated for chemical spill - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Dalton company evacuated for chemical spill

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Story by Callie Starnes
Eyewitness News Reporter/Weekend Anchor

DALTON, GA. (WRCB)-- Monday's rain was a nuisance for firefighters in Dalton, who spent the afternoon cleaning up a chemical spill.

The spill forced one local business to evacuate and shut down a portion of Needham Road.

Fire officials have given the all clear for employees of Marktec to return to work.

Marktec Manufacturing is known for making glues and resins used in countertops.

It was one of the chemicals used in that process that spilled, shutting down three blocks.

"It's like a rubber burning smell," says Priscilla Luna.

Priscilla Luna assumed where there was smoke there was fire.

"I seen fire from the plant," says Luna.

But that plume of smoke was actually a cloud of a chemical used in making countertops.

"This is a power substance called polymethyl methacrylate," says Bruce Frazier, spokesperson for the Dalton Police Department.

A Marktec employee tells Channel 3 a crew was carrying bags of the chemical into the plant Monday afternoon, when one broke open.

The dusty like substance traveled through the ventilation system.

Firefighters set up decontamination units before entering the building.

Bruce Frazier says fire and police crews train for moments like these.

As a precautionary measure a nearby wrecker service was evacuated.

The section of Needham Road was closed to drivers and neighbors.

Using a reverse 911 system, the fire department contacted all of the residents and business owners in the area asking them to stay inside until the chemical was cleaned up.

It's a measure Priscilla Luna says she appreciates.

She says it could have been worse.

"I hope no one was hurt," says Luna.

Polymethyl methacrylate can irritate skin and eyes.

A few Marktec employees were taken to the hospital, mostly as a precautionary measure.

We are told all of those employees have been released.

Fire officials expect the company to return to business as usual Tuesday.

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